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Old 01-06-2013, 10:42   #166
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"And yes, I realize that if I went over on a tether it's unlikely I would even reach the drag line. I would probably cut the tether and try to grab the drag line. I wouldn't remain being dragged by a tether alongside a moving boat. I would TRY to keep the tether short, but I can picture situations where a short tether might make doing what needs to be done pretty hard."

This was discussed recently and I think we all (big strong guys) pretty much agreed we couldn't get back aboard.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:44   #167
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
We sailed from Isla Mujeres last month, arriving at Charlotte Harbor on May 20 at about 1800 hours. For those that do not know the area it is about 30 nm miles north of Fort Myers.

Just before we entered the Boca Grande Channel I saw a large squall heading off shore from the harbor and turned and headed for sea.

We were run over like road kill, with winds sustained at 50 Knots and gusting to 62 Knots for over 45 minutes with rain so heavy I could barely see beyond the bow rail.

I checked my SIRUS weather display and saw the squall eventually stretched at least 80 miles miles off shore before it lost its intensity.

Weather in Florida is ALWAYS a factor this time of year!

I just looked up the weather forecast for Punta Gorda for that day. Hour by hour, it was fair, fair, fair, all the way down the day, with very light winds -- 3mph gusting (grin) up to 6 for one hourly report.

Then all of a sudden there's a thunderstorm in the vicinity -- for five hours.

This is what I've been saying about west coast Florida weather since I came to this forum -- that this can happen, and these sudden and unexpected storms can be quite fierce. I was verbally tarred and feathered for saying it, but I've seen it, and I'm glad to see someone else here has seen it -- and that you were all right in the end.

They can form rapidly, seemingly out of nowhere (i'm not talking about bad weather from fronts moving through), stay in one place for hours, grow and spread, or move like a freight train.

I recently got scoured by a few people for participating in a thread about storm strategies, but I LEARNED from participating in that thread.

This is how west Florida is. I can't speak about East Florida because the only times I sailed there, I don't know if the thunderstorm we barely escaped was predicted or not, and the other time was moving a boat to safer harborage while dodging squalls from TS Debby, clearly forecasted weather.

But here on the west coast you'd better know to do what you did -- turn around and go for deeper water, and know how to handle your boat in a storm.

But in Jay's case, the CG would have known about any storms anywhere near where he was, and it doesn't seem that weather was a factor.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:56   #168
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

You get incredible squalls on the east coast of Florida as well. Almost every afternoon in July/August. The winds can shift in several directions in minutes and your visibility is reduced to zero. Even with only about 3 feet of mainsail out (furled main) the wind can push your boat over. Not fun at all.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:23   #169
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

FWIW, at some point in one's cruising, one has to decide what is acceptable risk; and then, act accordingly.

If it is correct that Ray had had no sleep for 48 hrs., he was already in the realm of sleep-deprivation where his decision-making could have been impaired. Poor guy. All of us wish he had made it, and feel for the survivors.

However, survivors always grieve. AND we all die some time; life ends only in death. Life is inherently unsafe. It is up to each of us to decide how safe we want to be. Although it's not much consolation to offer the survivors, the fact that someone dies doing what they like is way, way better in concept to most of us than that of lingering, in pain, and in ill health. Although it is poor consolation, maybe it's the best we can offer.

Lots of cruisers now-a-days want to be rescued, "if something bad happens", but it is unrealistic to expect quick rescue, and possibly any rescue, partly because a vessel sailing normally at sea is so hard to spot by aircraft (unless displaying its emergency sheet), survival time in the water if no liferaft, or failed liferaft...there are so many variables, you could call it bad luck or lack of preparedness or both. I do agree with Boatman, Wotname, and a few others, that this incident should not be used to wrap us all in more cotton wool!

I forget whether it was CapnGeo or H34 who said Ray always kept his EPIRB in the cockpit while under way. How on earth did it get overboard? I guess there may be mysteries associated with Ray's demise as long as he is remembered. So let us remember all the ways in which he was a nice guy, and forgive him if he made decisions that didn't work out for him. Who among us has never made a decision that didn't work out as we hoped?

Ann
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:31   #170
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I always finally get rest after leaving and sails are set....
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:56   #171
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I'm having difficulty understanding the sea conditions in the Caribbean. I am reading that if you have 6-9 foot seas that is considered pretty duanting. Yet growing up in the PNW, on the coast, 50-60 footers were common in winter storm seas and we went commercial fishing in those conditions. What is different in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters? Phil
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:04   #172
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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
I'm having difficulty understanding the sea conditions in the Caribbean. I am reading that if you have 6-9 foot seas that is considered pretty duanting. Yet growing up in the PNW, on the coast, 50-60 footers were common in winter storm seas and we went commercial fishing in those conditions. What is different in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters? Phil
The 6-9' seas being daunting is nonsense. These stories come from those with little off shore experience. We have sailed through 22-24' seas in the Caribbean (off the Colombia coast) so big waves do exist.

You must remember that the Caribbean is a sea with a lot of land surrounding it. The seas are short and steep, very different from ocean swells. The 50-60' seas you describe would be under 30' in the Caribbean but just as daunting.

I never had big waves in the Gulf of Mexico... just lots and lots of crab pots...
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:10   #173
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

Thanks for that, Jedi... it explains it. The Pacific does have a considerably longer fetch than the Caribbean and is a lot shallower so steeper seas make sense. Cheers, Phil
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Old 01-06-2013, 13:45   #174
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
"And yes, I realize that if I went over on a tether it's unlikely I would even reach the drag line. I would probably cut the tether and try to grab the drag line. I wouldn't remain being dragged by a tether alongside a moving boat. I would TRY to keep the tether short, but I can picture situations where a short tether might make doing what needs to be done pretty hard."

This was discussed recently and I think we all (big strong guys) pretty much agreed we couldn't get back aboard.

And my personal opinion is that I would have a chance, if I could grab it. I wear gloves and mine has figure=8 loops in it. I would have a better chance with that than being dragged by the side of the boat.

The great thing about America is that we can reject "group think." I have read and considered every post on that topic, and I have also discussed it again with the person who first suggested it. I know that person. I know whether he speaks just to puff himself up or whether he knows what he's talking about. I know the research he's done on the topic. I know his extensive credentials.

You do what you want, but if I should end up overboard being dragged by boat and have one more chance to possibly save myself, I'm going to try it.

So no, not all the "big sstrong guys" Iknow agree with you.

But I'm sure I can talk my friend into helping me test it. If we can work that out, i'll come back and report honestly what happened. I'll have the boat sailing well. This is a very safe thing to test in Boca Ciega Bay.

If a sixty-seven year old woman can get herself back on the boat, then my guess is that the "big strong guys" should re-speculate.
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Old 01-06-2013, 13:47   #175
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
FWIW, at some point in one's cruising, one has to decide what is acceptable risk; and then, act accordingly.

If it is correct that Ray had had no sleep for 48 hrs., he was already in the realm of sleep-deprivation where his decision-making could have been impaired. Poor guy. All of us wish he had made it, and feel for the survivors.

However, survivors always grieve. AND we all die some time; life ends only in death. Life is inherently unsafe. It is up to each of us to decide how safe we want to be. Although it's not much consolation to offer the survivors, the fact that someone dies doing what they like is way, way better in concept to most of us than that of lingering, in pain, and in ill health. Although it is poor consolation, maybe it's the best we can offer.

Lots of cruisers now-a-days want to be rescued, "if something bad happens", but it is unrealistic to expect quick rescue, and possibly any rescue, partly because a vessel sailing normally at sea is so hard to spot by aircraft (unless displaying its emergency sheet), survival time in the water if no liferaft, or failed liferaft...there are so many variables, you could call it bad luck or lack of preparedness or both. I do agree with Boatman, Wotname, and a few others, that this incident should not be used to wrap us all in more cotton wool!

I forget whether it was CapnGeo or H34 who said Ray always kept his EPIRB in the cockpit while under way. How on earth did it get overboard? I guess there may be mysteries associated with Ray's demise as long as he is remembered. So let us remember all the ways in which he was a nice guy, and forgive him if he made decisions that didn't work out for him. Who among us has never made a decision that didn't work out as we hoped?

Ann

My guess -- and it is only a guess -- is that he had some concerns for reasons we don't know, and retrieved it and had it in the cockpit.
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Old 01-06-2013, 13:53   #176
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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post

And my personal opinion is that I would have a chance, if I could grab it. I wear gloves and mine has figure=8 loops in it. I would have a better chance with that than being dragged by the side of the boat.

The great thing about America is that we can reject "group think." I have read and considered every post on that topic, and I have also discussed it again with the person who first suggested it. I know that person. I know whether he speaks just to puff himself up or whether he knows what he's talking about. I know the research he's done on the topic. I know his extensive credentials.

You do what you want, but if I should end up overboard being dragged by boat and have one more chance to possibly save myself, I'm going to try it.

So no, not all the "big sstrong guys" Iknow agree with you.

But I'm sure I can talk my friend into helping me test it. If we can work that out, i'll come back and report honestly what happened. I'll have the boat sailing well. This is a very safe thing to test in Boca Ciega Bay.

If a sixty-seven year old woman can get herself back on the boat, then my guess is that the "big strong guys" should re-speculate.
Give a try climbing your anchor line. And free climbing on deck. Before you do put your swim ladder down. I can still do this but it ain't easy. Energy gets used very quick. Good luck.
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Old 01-06-2013, 13:54   #177
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
I'm having difficulty understanding the sea conditions in the Caribbean. I am reading that if you have 6-9 foot seas that is considered pretty duanting. Yet growing up in the PNW, on the coast, 50-60 footers were common in winter storm seas and we went commercial fishing in those conditions. What is different in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters? Phil

Well, first of all we weren't talking about the Caribbean, we were talking about the Gulf of Mexico.

Although someone tried to ream me for this earlier this week, I am well aware of differences betwen the water along the cost of the PNW and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The boat I have is tender and NOT a blue-water boat, and I can't imagine that I would have chosen it if I lived in the PNW (which almost happened -- I like it there very much and my retirement choices came down to the Sequim area and the St. Petersburg area).

The difference is that the Gulf of Mexico is more sheltered than the PNW -- except when a hurricane comes in, of course.

On the boat i was on with the 5' following sea, IMO I shouldn't have been out there. The boat was very light -- about 5500 lb. It was only 25' long, and significantly to me, only 8' wide. It happened because I let someone else decide whether or not I was going to sail that day. I should have put my guest on someone else's boat, and waited for more favorable conditions to return.

I did a lot of things very right that day, but I made two HUGE mistakes -- I didn't check the weather myself, and I didn't decide for myself whether I was going to sail. I let someone else decide. The person who made that decision that I followed had a significantly bigger boat than mine and a lot more experience. What was right for him was not right for me.

And, there's a huge difference between the decision-making for a commercial fishing boat and the decision-making for someone on a small, tender boat without of a lot of experience.

Now that I think about it, i wouldn't have bought EITHER of the sailboats I have owned if I had lived in the PNW.
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Old 01-06-2013, 13:56   #178
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by mikepmtl View Post
You get incredible squalls on the east coast of Florida as well. Almost every afternoon in July/August. The winds can shift in several directions in minutes and your visibility is reduced to zero. Even with only about 3 feet of mainsail out (furled main) the wind can push your boat over. Not fun at all.


I'm not surprised to hear that, but I know how to make it more fun -- have the storm coming out of the north and put yourself in the Gulfstream.

In fact i suspect those storms are more common on the East coast than the West.
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Old 01-06-2013, 14:02   #179
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Give a try climbing your anchor line. And free climbing on deck. Before you do put your swim ladder down. I can still do this but it ain't easy. Energy gets used very quick. Good luck.

Climbing my anchor line? That wouldn't be anything like pulling myself up from figure-eight loop to figure-eight loop with gloves on. And, when I tested this on my previous boat, it caused the boat to heave itself to. This is something that seems to have been lost in the discussion. If the boat is heaved to, you have a much better chance of getting aboard.

I'll be testing this with another person on my boat and a second boat nearby. It will probably be an informal club event. I'll be very safe, but I'm not going to try to climb my anchor line. I would never do that. I would go to the back of the boat and pull the ladder down. It's a very good ladder and easily deployed from the water.

I'll leave climbing the anchor rode, an entirely different kind of task, to the gorillas.
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Old 01-06-2013, 14:10   #180
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Quote:
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I'm having difficulty understanding the sea conditions in the Caribbean. I am reading that if you have 6-9 foot seas that is considered pretty duanting. Yet growing up in the PNW, on the coast, 50-60 footers were common in winter storm seas and we went commercial fishing in those conditions. What is different in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters? Phil
As Jedi note it is the fetch, but also the shallows. The wave pattern in the Atlantic has a symmetry and a fairly consistent direction. In the Gulf, the frequency is shorter and sometimes irregular. Also rogues or waves contrary to the train are much ore frequent in the Gulf. I assume this to be the result of depth change. In the Atlantic the depth drops in 1/4 mile. In the Gulf you can be 1/2 mile or more off shore and still be in shallow water.

In the Atlantic, I have taken my 33' boat out in a north wind and gone to the edge of the Gulf Stream to get a feel for things. The waves were more consistent that the Gulf when it is blowing in a squall.
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